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The Active Utopian: A Celebration of The Work and Passions of Nigel Todd, Neville Hall, Newcastle

20 June 2022 @ 10:00 - 15:00

Nigel Todd

Friends and colleagues of Nigel will gather on 20th June to celebrate his life, his work and most of all his passion for progress, social justice and lifelong learning.

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, will give the keynote address and there will be local and national speakers from the Workers Education Association, Co-operative College, Newcastle City Council, the Green movement and other parts of Nigel’s life. There will be music, a slide show from his 1983 General Election campaign and a memory board, as well as an opportunity for reunions with old friends and making new ones.

This will be a joyous occasion, following-on from and in the same spirit as the community event in his memory which will happen at the Bike Garden, Nuns Moor on Saturday 18th June.

Sold out. Check here for any places that may become available from cancellations.


There will be a memory board. If you have anything you would like to put on it please contact

9:30 Coffee 

10.00 Welcome and Introduction: Chairs for the day, Liz O’Donnell and Kath Connolly

10:05 Keynote Speaker. Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor

10:15 Workers’ Education Association
Keith Hodgson. Chair NE Region WEA, formerly NUPE/UNISON Education Officer
Jude Murphy. WEA Education Co-ordinator, Musician and Historian
Anne Staines. WEA Regional Education Manager – retired
Simon Parkinson. General Secretary & Chief Executive at WEA

10:45 Nigel’s Centenary Commission colleagues
Centenary Commission on Adult Education, John Holford. Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education, University of Nottingham
Nigel’s work on Raymond Williams and the New Diggers. Sharon Clancy, Assistant Professor of Education, Nottingham University
Building community, democracy and dialogue. Iain Jones. Associate Lecturer, The Open University

11:05 WEA Green Network: Ruth Hayward. Co-founder WEA North East Green Branch

11:15 Discussion and Q&A of WEA topics

11:30 Coffee

11:45 Nigel’s Political Activism, Internationalism, Palestine, Kashmir, Bangladesh,  Ann Schofield. Internationalist and Political Activist
12:05 Greening Wingrove: Dave Webb. Director, Greening Wingrove
12:25 Slide show of Nigel’s 1983 GE campaign. Peter Brabban, Professional Photographer

12:45 Lunch:    Ordinary Heroes. WW1 Documentary
                           Rochdale Pioneers Songs (recorded)

13:30 Irim Ali. Chair of Greening Wingrove
13:50 Joseph Cowen and the Chronicle. Andy McSmith. Journalist and Author
14:10 The Co-operative college. Hazel Johnson. Co-operative college trustee

14:30 Round Table:
Matt Perry. Historian, Newcastle University
Charlotte Alston. Historian, University of Northumbria
Simon Parkinson. General Secretary & Chief Executive at WEA

15:00 Close and songs from Bethany Elen Coyle with Jude Murphy


This is a collaborative event by the Workers’ Educational Association, the Co-operative College, The Labour and Society Research Group at Newcastle University and the North East Labour History Society

Our thanks to the Workers’ Educational Association for their generous sponsorship of this event


20 June 2022
10:00 - 15:00


Common Room
Neville Hall, Westgate Road
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE